Shane MacGowan has died

The Pogues bandleader and songwriter was 65

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Shane MacGowan has died aged 65.

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A statement confirmed he “died peacefully at 3.30am this morning (30 November) with his wife and and sister by his side”.


“Prayers and the last rites were read during his passing.”

Posting on Instagram, McGowan’s wife Victoria Mary Clarke said MacGowan “meant the world to me”.


She wrote: “I don’t know how to say this so I am just going to say it. Shane… has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese.”

She said MacGowan “will always be the light that I hold before me and the measure of my dreams and the love of my life and the most beautiful soul and beautiful angel and the sun and the moon and the start and end of everything that I hold dear”.

MacGowan had been diagnosed with viral encephalitis in 2022, and as a result spent several months of 2023 in intensive care. Clarke had recently posted pictures of her husband, lying in his hospital bed, on social media. He seemed to have been improving and was discharged on November 22, 2023; the BBC reports that MacGowan and Clarke spent their wedding anniversary together at home.

Among many tributes paid to MacGowan, Nick Cave wrote, “A true friend and the greatest songwriter of his generation. A very sad day.”

Fellow Pogue Spider Stacy posted on Twitter:

And Lankum, whose False Lankum is Uncut’s Album Of The Year, wrote:

The Irish President Michael D Higgins said, “Like so many across the world, it was with the greatest sadness that I learned this morning of the death of Shane MacGowan.

“His words have connected Irish people all over the globe to their culture and history, encompassing so many human emotions in the most poetic of ways.”


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